Jorge Soler headed to Iowa; Almora heads to Tennessee

Jorge Soler headed to Iowa; Almora heads to Tennessee

Wow.  Wow. Wow!!

According to Carrie Muskat, Jorge Soler is headed to Iowa while Albert Almora will go to Tennessee.

I was going to wait for the recaps but these are pretty big promotions here.  We have speculated Soler would be a candidate but Almora comes as something of a surprise, even as he hit his 7th HR tonight and raised his average to .283.

Soler has absolutely destroyed AA Tennessee, albeit in a very small sample size.  The move makes a lot of sense for him because Iowa has a good chance to make the playoffs, giving him a shot at some extra ABs.   There is also a good chance Soler will get promoted to the Cubs in September given that he is already on the 40 man roster.

The upper levels are starting to fill with talent now.  As young stars Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, and now Arismendy Alcantara set the foundation in Chicago, the Iowa team will feature Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and now Jorge Soler.  The Smokies have Addison Russell and Albert Almora.

2015 is looking like it might be a fun year after all.

UPDATE: Mike Olt is going to AAA Iowa

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  • The progress line you keep talking about is about to turn exponential

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    Sacre Bleu!

  • Awesome! The Soler move was a no brainer but I am still ecstatic to see they made it. Pleasantly surprised on the Almora promotion too. Things are really starting to look good nowadays. I thought Cubs were erring on the side of caution with their prospects a little too much but I l am liking their recents move...A LOT!!!

  • Some AAA pitcher once a day has to face Baez, Bryant and Soler 3, 4 and 5.

    What's scary is that if Soler is healthy and the switch has turned on, he may actually be the best hitter of these three. Scary!

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    Would that hurt anybody's feelings - other than maybe some Cards/Pirates/Brewers/Reds fans?


  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    the heck with there "feelings". Id say let the mighty 4 hurt some outfield seats.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    I have seen all three in Tennessee. I agree. Soler could be the best. He's a combo of Bryant (selective) and Baez (explosive). Gonna be a good time! Road trip to Iowa anyone?

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    Not to menton Olt, who is a darn scary #6 hitter in AAA

  • In reply to springs:

    Where us olt going to play?

  • In reply to springs:

    I would like to agree with you on Olt, but he didn't exactly tear up AAA last year and his head is so goofed up right now. I am not expecting much out of him.

  • Wow. Just talked about this earlier and it's happening. Soler just did not seem challenged enough. Let's see him get the junk ballers now throwing to him so he can prepare.

    Almora moving up is a nice reward for working on his approach all year in Daytona. Let's see who moves up for his slot to High A.

  • In reply to Gator:

    probably just slide McKinney into CF, he's been mis-cast as a RF'r with his lack of throwing arm

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I could see one of the KCC catchers getting the nod to move up.

  • In reply to Gator:

    I thought you meant one of the CF'rs...

  • Soler was ready... just didn't seem he was being challenged at that level. Surprised, but happy to see Almora moving up too. It'll be interesting to see how he adjusts and if he needs another period of time before he starts hitting or if he takes off (or somewhere in between).

    So psyched that at the ML level that some of the kids (Henricks, Rizzo and AA) keyed the win tonight. After years of watching some limited players (to put it nicely), it's so fun to have something to watch. Yummy cookies!

  • Sh*t be gettin' real. The hibernating bear is beginning to stir.

  • Trevor Clifton just have up a granny. Struggling with control tonight. I wonder if this the Boise dead arm period coming?

  • In reply to Gator:

    He has struggled getting his breaking stuff over for strikes lately. Hitters just sit back and wait on a fastball. Until Clifton can get that straightened out, he will be as inconsistent as his stuff. He might need to simplify to two pitches and work on the side on his breaking stuff. He could get by with two pitches as that level.

  • Alcantara looked good again today in the Win,.... Rizzo hit two more bombs,.... Castro scored,..... Castillo drove in a run,..... and some guy fresh out of AAA named Hendricks pitched 7 shutout innings today in Wrigley,.....

    The youth movement has already started to arrive for the Cubs. Would love to see Soler join the party come September.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:


  • I didn't understand when many of the main people on this board were against it a few days back whenever I or anyone else mentioned promoting Soler. There is no right or wrong answers on these, it is only our opinions but I think too many here are far too conservative in when they think players should get promoted. When Theo and company say players wont be promoted they are tempering expectations for both fans and the players IMO but are hoping the players perform well enough to make them look like Liars so to say. We may be seeing all of the Big 3 currently at Iowa in Chicago this season. .Too bad Boras does not have a more reasonable agent, if he did not have Boras, I think he would be Definitely called up. It is 50/50 IMO but I am hoping to see him in September and the waiver wire pickups masquerading as major leaguers on our roster DFA'd & released in September.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    "Too bad Boras does not have a more reasonable agent, if he did not have Boras,"

    I didn't know Scott Boras represents himself :D

    But I'm just confused by your thought of "When Theo and company say players won't be promoted they are tempering expectations for both fans and the players but are hoping that the players perform well enough to make them look like liars."

    And what would the other side of that argument be? That they guarantee fans that players will be up, whereas they HAVE to call them up (regardless of how they are doing) to ensure that they are not liars?

    I personally think it should be a play by ear situation. If the prospects are performing well, you promote them. Otherwise, you don't. Who knows what will happen, and regardless of what GMs say, they definitely could look like fools. I'd try to be as discreet about it as possible, so I don't look like a liar (if I was a GM).

    What I DO like about all of this is that it is unpredictable. No one saw AA's promotion as early as it was, and no one saw this one either. Expect the unexpected I guess would be a good motto with this organization ;)

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    "I personally think it should be a play by ear situation. If the prospects are performing well, you promote them."

    Exactly!!!! Perfectly stated.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    "I didn't know Scott Boras represents himself :D"

    You can be sure that Scott Boras always represents himself. Always.

  • It's not about Boras, it's about years of control. That's not an issue with Soler's deal though. At some point they should revisit rules that distort the natural timetables of promotion and do not serve the best interests of the game. People either get it or not, about what the rules are, but it seems like there's very little discussion or objection to the rules themselves. This might not be such a great thing for Bryant if he ends up with 499 ML homers, for one small example.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Years of control mean less if an amicable agent you have more chance of signing a guy before he becomes a free agent. With Boras there is always a stronger likelihood the player will opt for free soon as he is eligible. I agree 100% the rules need to be addressed that make teams keep players in the minors because of this rule. I HATE when a ML ready players does not get brought up until June.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Scott Boras represents Bryant, Russell, Almora, McKinney and lots of others in the Cubs system... get used to it.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:


  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    You can add Arrieta to the list of Boras clients. I did not know about Russel and McKinney.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Interesting spin. I would say the caveat is a deep system lessens Boras' stance to a degree. It takes the immediacy and urgency off the table for the parent club. The dreaded Cards have done that for years. They make trades for talent but do not go out and sign positional stars. Pitching yes. I see the Cubs liking that model.

    Players control their agents so if they want to stay they will. It's upto the Cubs to strike the balance - but yes Boras will push

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    In reply to Behn Wilson:

    While I am far from a Boras supporter it is the player's decision whether to sign (or not). The agent can convince, cajole, influence, but if the player wants to sign it is the agent's job to do that. If he disregards the player's wish he will not get hired by other players. I wouldn't be shocked to see the Cubs trying to sign some of these guys to 10-year $100-120M contracts which would buy out what they would likely get through their indentured servanthood, arbitration and first FA contract with a discount in exchange for guaranteed money regardless of possible injuries while also getting them out of their contract early enough to sign another big one with a team dumb enough to sign a slugger entering his mid-30's.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    This is something Cubs fans will have to get used to. Hoystien's master plan of "waves of talent" will impact future contract negotiations too. If Boras makes unreasonable demands, the Cubs will be happy to let a player walk, knowing a replacement is just a call-up away.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Isn't the rule that makes teams keep players in the minors actually a "pro-player" rule? Isn't super two status supposed to reward players? The problem with CBAs, just like with politics, is that people conveniently neglect to consult the law of unintended consequences to see what will probably occur as a reaction to these types of things....

  • i cannot wait for the 5 game series Montgomery Biscuits vs TN Smokies in August (in my hometown)
    I get to see Almora also now!
    so pumped that i am not even typing real sentences

  • In reply to Tide23:

    Almora AND Russell. That should be a blast. You are lucky.

  • In reply to Tide23:

    I'll see him next week when the Smokies come to Birmingham. I'm glad I got to see Soler during his short stay!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I'm headed to Montgomery Sunday and will pass through Birmingham and am glad to see Almora promoted but upset they couldn't wait a week to promote Soler lol

  • In reply to Teddy KGB:

    Dang - I've got a band practice Sunday afternoon. Monday is my first chance to catch a game.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    How many times did the opposing pitchers walk him?

  • In reply to Tide23:

    Haha! I could barely write this piece. Figured I had to write something on this before I crashed.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    crashed from no sleep or excitement? I feel like I am overdosing on good Cubs news tonight!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John-little q nad a here-who would you prefer the Cubs go after as an offseason TOR type starter between Lester or Mad Max? I prefer Lester. I think he comes cheaper, throws fewer pitchers , is LH and has won under playoff pressure. Scherzer still throws so many pitches Im worried his shoulder wont hold up under a long term contract.

  • Anyone else want to see the Cubs demote Mike Olt so he can get consistent PT in Iowa?

    Past 20 games: 5-for-46 with 6 runs 3 HR 6 RBI and ... wait for it ... 26 K's.

    This isn't just a "slump". We know he strikes out a lot but has a lot of power, but what value does he have to the team if he can only starts a couple of times a week, doesn't get consistent AB's, and ends up striking out in more than half of his AB's?

    I'd rather see the Cubs call up Valaika to serve as a utility bat that plays once or twice a week to give rest to a player like Bonifacio once in a while where as Olt can go down to the minors, hopefully hit a little bit there and get some confidence back, and see if he can be back up here in September.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    looks like you get your wish... Mike Olt sent down to Iowa according to Patrick Mooney.

  • In reply to Henry Loose:

    Wow! I'm like a fortune teller.

    I swear I didn't even read anything about it.

    Just a thought that came to mind so I checked out his game logs and tallied up the numbers and it made sense.

    Maybe I'll have a knack for this stuff ... hmm ... maybe it's time to promote Kris Bryant and Javier Baez? :-)

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Don't use up your powers. We are gonna need you during the off season.offseason.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    Or maybe the 2015 postseason.

  • In reply to Henry Loose:

    I'm so happy.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    What are the powerball numbers tonight? (Don't worry, I won't tell anyone).

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    In reply to springs:

    Me neither

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    He looks like Castro did last year... totally lost!!!

  • How about Kyle Hendricks? When was the last time a Cubs starter needed just 84 pitches to get through 7 full innings? This kid looks like a #4 SP keeper to me, I like.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I am not that high on Hendricks. I am not a big fan of finesse pitchers in general and prefer power arms. But I just read an article on ESPN on Hendricks where Rick Suttcliffe who has worked with him is really high on him so I may be starting to raise my expectations a tad here. Time will tell. Personally I am still holding out hope for Ramirez & Vizcaino to make it as starters. Again time will tell and it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Also need to see more than just a start against the punchless padres. They are much weaker than the Iowa lineup. LOL

  • In reply to Cubs Future:

    Yeah, Hendricks left a huge number of changeups up in the zone that the Pads did not take advantage of. Other teams are going to kill those pitches if he continues to do that.

    I don't mind the lack of velocity, he's a four pitch guy and all of his pitches have movement, so he can be plenty successful when he has command or teams are overly aggressive. He reminds me of Bronson Arroyo.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    He seems to have the mental toughness & drive to put it all together though. I think he's going to be Travis Wood - esque in that he will look absolutely dominant for some stretches and really frustrate hitters and will also have a few occasional turds where he gives up 5 runs by the 3rd inning.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I like your comment and think you nailed it. He is a good #4 SP. By your #4 in your rotation, you are not expecting TOR stuff; but rather an innings eater who can control the game and give your offense a chance to win. And with the offense that is on the roster/Iowa/Tenn/Daytona, there will be plenty of offense.

    I think the bigger note on Hendricks is if you remove the first, jitter-bug inning of work in Cincinnati, Hendricks has given up zero runs over twelve straight innings. Last time I checked, if you give up zero runs over a long stretch, its hard (although Cubs bullpens have figured a way in the past) to lose games.

  • Olt heading back to Iowa.

  • In reply to CoolerbytheLake:

    It was the right move. I am seriously wondering if his vision problems are still lingering and if he will ever get back to 100%.

  • In reply to CoolerbytheLake:

    It was time. He's not improving on the big club - and he's not getting enough playing time to work out the kinks where he is.

    Rotate him among 1B, 3B, DH and Corner OF spots in Iowa and get him consistent swings and some lower-pressure coaching.

  • Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

    I might as well move to Des Moines cause I plan on being there every weekend homestand until the season ends. The future is bright my brothers!

  • I'm guessing they stick at Olt at 1B and DH in Iowa, they surely wouldn't let him take ABs away from Bryant at 3B. To make room, Vitters gets demoted or released?

  • AND Eloy Jimenez homers tonight. Waves of talent will keep coming up the system for years!!

  • Not to take anything away from Hendricks, who pitched a terrific game. But the Padres are a weak-hitting team at best, and seeing Headley get traded had to affect them. (Remember how the Cubs played in those first games after losing Samardzija and Hammel?). It will be good to see Hendricks get tested against some better line-ups.

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    In reply to October:

    If nothing else, it's good to have him get a win under his belt for a confidence boost.

  • In reply to October:

    Look at the September schedule. Every team we play is a playoff contender. These young guys are going to get tested and then some. I'm starting to think we are the odds on favorite for the #1 pick next June.

  • Kyle Hendricks looked more comfortable in his AB's tonight then Mike Olt & Junior either one did... That's kinda sad actually.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I noticed that too.

  • I honestly have not been this stoked to be a Cubs fan since about the 130 game mark of the '08 season, just because it's so encouraging to see the FO becoming aggressive within their own stystem. These guys that we've been hearing about and following for so long are right outside the door.
    I would love to see Bryant, Baez, and Soler all come up to the bigs at the same time this September and start to figure out the MLB together. I know it probably won't happen because of Bryant's service clock, but it would be exciting for Cubs fans, and I think, more importantly for the Cubs, ideal for team building and chemistry.

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  • "2015 is looking like it might be a fun year after all."

    I've been saying it for years, "The Cubs will break the routine in 2015."

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    John, All,

    I don't think that "Bear" is a good nickname for Rizzo. I purpose that we name him the "Rizzonator" after the terminator. It is much better then Bear.

    Any other good ideas or are you all happy with Bear?

  • In reply to Randy Michelson:

    His teammates call him Bear but we can always call think of a new one.

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    Here come the sons of Theo!

  • Where does Olt play? First? Does Barney ride the bench if he makes it through DFA?

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    That's a good question which I'm pondering.

    He could play 3B and in turn force Bryant to begin getting acclimated with the OF, or he could play 1B (possibly even platoon with Lars Anderson, who has been pretty good lately). OR, Bryant could alternate 3B and OF, while Olt switches off between 1B and 3B.

    Lots of different ways to play the cards here.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Bryant will do no moving because olt is down there. If they want Bryant to get of reps it will be because they want him to get those reps olt should have nothing to do w it.

    I agree in that it will be 1b maybe see if he can play some of. Unfortunately for mike his 3b days as a cub are probably over. Even f Bryant has to move to the of another top prospect will claim that position.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    I imagine Olt will play 1B.

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    I haven't been this excited since 2003...if just 3 of these kids turn out the way we hope and Theo pays the right free agents to fill the gaps, there is no reason the cubbies can't contend for a World Series regularly for a ten year period

  • After nearly four months of witnessing what may have been the worst offense production from an outfield in the history of major league baseball, the very concept of seeing Alcantara, Bryant, Soler out there pretty much scrambles my senses at this point.

  • omg omg omg omg omg!! :D

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    This has my head spinning with possibilities, etc. What an exciting time to be a Cub fan!

  • I don't think they'll move Bryant off 3rd, Olt will probably see time at 1B or corner OF, makes sense for Olt to learn a new position/role at AAA.

  • AAA Iowa is officially the Field of Dreams!! I believe that I am the first on this, but I'll admit I am too excited to get through all of the comments.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Haha, very nice. That field really is full of dreams for Cubs fans.

  • Speaking of excitement, how's this? Samuel L. Jackson is his plum-colored suit and nerdy glasses: "Let that phrase sit with you for a moment - the CUBS have the leading home-run hitter in the National League!"

    It's been a little while since we've heard THAT.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    And with Soler, Baez and Bryant to add to Rizzo, we might be hearing that pretty often.

  • In reply to John57:

    The insurance on those rooftops is about to skyrocket. Soler and Baez bombs might rival a few of Glenallen Hills.

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    I remember when the 2013 season started, Iowa was pitiful and Tennessee didn't look much bigger.

    It's part of the reason why I've been super patient about this rebuild.

    But MAN, have times changed.

    All of the top guys at triple or double-A, most of them in Iowa.

    Schwarber, who has only been in the organization for 6 weeks is the only top prospect not there (yet).

    And really, it could be even better, but it's getting crowded.
    I remember Law said about Russell (before the trade) that he would be MLB ready BT the end of '14.
    In virtually any other system, Bruno would've been promoted awhile ago.
    Hernandez, Amaya, and even Vogelbach have played well enough IMO to get promotions but Soto, Bruno, and Geiger don't deserve demotions.
    The teenager McKinney is unfazed by the FSL.

    With so much talent in Iowa, things will be very interesting very soon.

  • Will Soler play with Iowa tonight ?

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